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UCLA Study: Quality of Life Dropping in SoCal

Dragged down largely by bad traffic and the cost of living, Los Angeles County residents’ overall quality of life dipped over the past two years, according to a survey released today by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

According to the annual Quality of Life Index report, prepared in conjunction with The California Endowment, residents’ overall quality of life dropped by three points from a score of 59 the past two years to 56 in 2018.

The survey found that between 2016 and 2018, residents’ satisfaction level with transportation and traffic showed the biggest drop, followed by concerns over the cost of living.

According to UCLA, more than half of respondents to the survey said they or someone they know has considered moving out of their neighborhoods in recent years due to rising housing costs. The percentage was significantly higher among younger respondents.
“It is troubling that younger county residents are less hopeful and less positive about their quality of life in Los Angeles,” said Zev Yaroslavsky, former city councilman and county supervisor and director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

“Historically, young people, especially in Los Angeles, could look forward to a great future, but today they have the highest level of negativity and anxiety, especially between the ages of 18-29, he said. “This should be a matter of concern to all of us.”

The survey, based on interviews with 1,457 county residents, asks respondents to rate their quality of life on a scale of 10-100 in nine categories and 40 subcategories.

Between 2016 and 2018, the quality of life ranking has dropped in eight of the nine categories, with only the  “jobs and economy” category showing an increase. Transportation and traffic saw the biggest drop of eight points between 2016 and 2018, while cost of living dropped by seven points and education dipped by six points.

Drops also occurred in categories of the environment, public safety, health care, neighborhoods and race/ethnic/religious relations. Researchers noted that the final three categories, despite showing overall drops, still have an overall positive ranking of 67.

The study found that 27 percent of county residents have worried about becoming homeless, up 4 percent from last year. It also found that nearly 60 percent of residents believe local police should refuse to help federal authorities deport immigrants living in the country illegally.

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